Yorkshire is full of towns where nothing much happens, or so they’d have you believe. Laura Groves either didn’t hear, didn’t believe or simply knew better and on the edge of seventeen began writing songs.
With an old family piano and a borrowed guitar, thinking of the records she loved, lyrics that broke her heart, phrasing that made it race, composers cradling her aspirations. Influences spanning genres and generations; from Bartók to Bush, Tiersen to Tears For Fears, Debussy to Du Maurier. She dreamt of writing, arranging, performing and producing an album that would be as treasured by someone else, and hopefully inspire them in the same way.
The journey from then until now has not only given her more years, but more confidence, more experience of life, the courage to let the music express when words seem too restrictive. The name Blue Roses is encompassing; it is more than just one person and their sole aspirations, it is what happened in making the album- this process gave the need for another, more representative name. Blue Roses is the story, with Laura Groves as the protagonist. Included is a cast of family members to play instruments and a choir of firm friends, acquaintances and perfect strangers gathered together in a café to help. A small amount of money and a little faith was stretched with the benevolence and enthusiasm of those who stood at each door. From recording in living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms in various houses, to recording a Steinway in a local piano shop (a millionaire, who despite having paid a five-figure sum for the concert grand piano, was enchanted enough by the story and the music to allow Laura to record with it before it was moved to entertain guests his Lake District hotel). The equipment graciously bought and generously lent, (most of which was older than Laura herself, some of which was of pensionable age) put her on a sonic par with her idols and instilled in her a romance which translated through the Neumann, the Gibson and Wurlitzer, the Neve. The valves, the plates, the springs, the tape, transformers and circuitry are as musical as the instruments and voices passing through them, and are part of the story, the colour between the lines.
Instant praise is neither expected nor sought; Blue Roses is not the stuff of lists, tip offs or hollow press recommendations; this is not recollection, it is realisation. It is not music to be forced onto the public for social measurements, or on the merit of affiliation. Blue Roses is to be found, kept and cherished; it is to be absent as the dust begins to settle, and longed for as ambience resumes. Blue Roses is the serendipity that can only happen when you thought you’d stopped looking; as you realise how life sounds without it, you begin again.